Thousands of U.S. Armed Forces members now live with hearing loss and other related symptoms after using defective earplugs during their service. Military members who served between 2003 and 2015 received these dangerous devices as a part of their personal equipment from the manufacturer 3M.
If this happened to you, Anastopoulo Law Firm will review your case to determine if you can join the 3M earplugs lawsuits currently taking place under 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 2885.
What Damages May Be Available If I Join the Litigation Against 3M?
Hearing loss can affect many aspects of your life. For example, you may not be able to continue working in your career field, enjoy your favorite hobbies, or participate as fully in your family life. You could also have related medical bills and psychological damages.
The damages you could potentially recover include:
- Medical expenses related to your diagnosis and care
- Cost of hearing aids or other similar devices
- Income losses if you cannot continue a lucrative career
- Other expenses not covered by your veteran’s disability benefits
- Pain and suffering damages
- Mental anguish
- Punitive damages, which penalize 3M for its actions
At Anastopoulo Law Firm, valuing the case is a vital part of what we do when we represent a client. If we work together, our team will determine the losses and related expenses you incurred and document them, providing support for your case.
How Anastopoulo Law Firm Helps Veterans Seek Compensation from 3M
Anastopoulo Law Firm has 25-plus years of legal experience seeking fair and just compensation for our clients who suffered losses because of another party’s negligence. The outcome of a False Claims Act case against 3M could show that the company provided fraudulent information and defective earplugs to the U.S. Armed Forces.
Over the years, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients related to personal injury, and you could be next. You can count on our team to:
- Help you understand the 3M earplugs case
- Explain the legal process for joining the multidistrict litigation (MDL) already in progress
- Discuss your legal options for recovering compensation
- Review your medical records and documentation related to your injuries
- Gather evidence to prove your case
- File a lawsuit against 3M and represent you through this process
Our initial consultations are always free for injured veterans, and we can meet you in your home or at one of our locations in North Carolina or South Carolina. Our team will review your case and eligibility to join MDL 2885. We will also answer your questions and discuss what you can expect further during this consultation.
If we decide to work together, you will not need to pay a retainer. Our firm represents clients on a contingency-fee basis. This means the fees our attorneys collect are contingent on our ability to recover a settlement or verdict in each case. If you do not receive compensation, we will not get paid.
The 3M Earplugs MDL Is Currently the Largest in the United States
According to an August 13, 2021, report from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), the 3M earplug MDL is currently the largest multidistrict litigation in progress. There are a total of 248,120 lawsuits involved in this MDL and likely many more eligible plaintiffs.
There could be thousands more soldiers who suffered lasting injuries to their hearing because they used defective earplugs during training, deployment, or combat. According to the lawsuits, 3M:
- Designed and sold defective earplugs to the U.S. military
- Distributed earplugs that did not effectively seal in the ear canal to prevent hearing damage
- Failed to warn the U.S. government or members of the military about the defect
- Did not update or disseminate instructions on how to use the earplugs to prevent hearing damage
Understanding Who Was Likely Affected By 3M’s Negligence
According to Military Times, those who used the defective earplugs likely served between 2003 and 2015. They may have a diagnosis that includes:
- Hearing damage and loss
- Loss of balance
- Other symptoms of hearing damage and ear injuries
The deployments during this time could include those who served in:
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Somalia Operation Ocean Shield
If you believe you have hearing loss due to using this type of earplug during your military services, you may be able to join the mass tort already in progress. Our team can help you understand your rights and seek compensation for your injuries. This may include related expenses, intangible losses, punitive damages, and more.
While an MDL consolidates these cases for pre-trial motions and the initial trials, your lawsuit will most likely settle or return to your original jurisdiction to go to trial. We can take care of this for you while you focus on living your life.
What Is Next for MDL 2885?
The first veterans filed lawsuits against 3M in early 2019, and it became a mass tort shortly after. In May 2021, the first bellwether case went to the jury in MDL 2885. A bellwether case allows both sides to see how a jury will react to the basic facts of the case. 3M lost this case, and the jury awarded the plaintiffs significant compensation: $7.1 million.
While the costs of managing hearing loss are not extreme, the jury felt that awarding punitive damages to these veterans was vital in holding 3M accountable. Thus, the bulk of this court award is punitive, not compensatory. Future verdicts could follow similarly, or this could prompt 3M to settle these cases outside the courtroom.
As of August 2021, there are still almost 250,000 cases participating in the multidistrict litigation in the Northern District of Florida.
Speak with Our Team About Your 3M Earplugs Case Today
At Anastopoulo Law Firm, our team will evaluate your legal options if you suffered hearing loss or other harm because of defective 3M earplugs issued to you during your military service. You may be able to join the MDL already in progress or pursue compensation in another way.
Call (800) 313-2546 now to discuss your rights and let us offer advice and support. Your complimentary consultation awaits.